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Old 01-10-2012, 10:49 AM   #1
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Default Knee Tendinitis from Squats

Talking this over with Off Road and LtL this morning so I am tossing it into a thread.

Frequent 90% squatting is working wonders for me but I am also picking up a bit of knee tendinitis. I fear this will soon turn into major knee tendinitis. I understand this is from a form flaw. Here's the way I am looking at my current squatting situation. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

I think my squat form is very good. Not perfect of course, but good. I work on it every week, and have had several of you comment in person that it's solid. We all know that form is a work in progress.

In using frequent 90% squats I am bound to accumulate bad reps. This is simply the law of averages. I believe these bad reps are the cause of the tendinitis.

What I am trying to do is solve this problem before it gets worse. I am considering 2 options:

1) Wide (or wider) stance box squats.
2) Dropping my frequency of 90% training down to once a week, or once every 2 weeks.

Thoughts? Comments? Swift kicks in the ass? Free food?
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:53 AM   #2
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IMO, tendonitis is going to best be solved by anti-inflams, heat-ice treatments, and either (a) complete rest and/or (b) taking some of the pressure off the tendons/connective tissue with wraps and such while working with very sub-maximal weights. If the tendonitis gets bad enough, even good reps with light weights are going to hurt.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by *MC* View Post
IMO, tendonitis is going to best be solved by anti-inflams, heat-ice treatments, and either (a) complete rest and/or (b) taking some of the pressure off the tendons/connective tissue with wraps and such while working with very sub-maximal weights. If the tendonitis gets bad enough, even good reps with light weights are going to hurt.
Hot baths, candle light and Twilight. Check.

Thanks for the suggestions. All good. Ignore the above joke.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:55 AM   #4
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I think working high frequency combined with high intensity just brings the pain, regardless of good form. Powerlifters that are really pushing themselves are always feeling beat up somewhere.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:59 AM   #5
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I think working high frequency combined with high intensity just brings the pain, regaurdless of good form. Powerlifters that are really pushing themselves are always feeling beat up.
I agree. I've found that really high intensity (in relation to what I lift) done too frequently leaves me feeling like someone has smashed all the joints involved with a sledgehammer, after a couple of weeks solid rest or at least backing off, and all the pain dissipates allowing me to get back to it again.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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I think working high frequency combined with high intensity just brings the pain, regardless of good form. Powerlifters that are really pushing themselves are always feeling beat up somewhere.
I keep thinking of CS Sloan's article on overtraining the movement pattern. Not sure if me and you had discussed this one in particular.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:04 AM   #7
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I had really (REALLY) bad elbow tendinitis for about 10 years, but was always using a push heavy program. I think this combined with years of hardcore bicep work and a bazillion pushups in the military didn't help things much.

The interesting thing is that the moment I started focusing on getting my back as strong as possible it went away. Nearly overnight. I assume this corrected some imbalance.

During the elbow tendinitis period my workouts were:

--No barbell rows
--Dumbbell rows 110s or 120s for 5-ish
--No straps
--No deadlifts
--8-12 sets of biceps per week

During the period of time it went away, and until now, my workouts are:

--very heavy barbell rows
--Dumbbell rows 210s x 10 reps
--Versa Gripps
--Deadlifts
--No bicep workout

I don't want to make this a thread about elbow tendinitis, but when I try to think through the knee issue I wonder if it is driven by a weakness. I have always had strong quads and (I believe) weak hammies.

Part of me wonders if I need to hammer the snot out of my hammies with frequent wide stance good mornings and see if this helps.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:12 AM   #8
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I don't want to make this a thread about elbow tendinitis, but when I try to think through the knee issue I wonder if it is driven by a weakness. I have always had strong quads and (I believe) weak hammies.

Part of me wonders if I need to hammer the snot out of my hammies with frequent wide stance good mornings and see if this helps.
From what I gather, hammies are weak on most people, so I wouldn't imagine it would hurt any if you targetted them a bit more anyway.

It could easily be a combo of things going on as well, encompassing any or all of the following to some degree or other; weakness in one area, heavy lifting itself, high frequency itself, age, joint issues.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:06 AM   #9
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No kick in the ass from me.

I agree with MC in that it can be treated with NSAIDS. A certain amount of inflammation will occur from any exercise, frequent exercise of course exacerbates that. However regular use of NSAIDS does bring it's own issues with the stomach lining and can cause potential problems if relied on.

What I would suggest, and what I am also doing as I'm not confident with my own Squat form, is to reduce the number of days that you actually Back Squat and fill in the other days with variations that do not hurt. For me that works out currently to Squat, GM and Partial Squat. As my form becomes smoother I will Squat more often and do less work on the main lift.

I don't believe form is the only contributor to pain in frequent lifting, exercise is of course damaging in the short-term, but form is certainly the one thing we could all stand to improve and that improvement leads to benefits in being able to squat more often. With that in mind a friend mine recently suggested Goblet Squat Holds as a good way to introduce weighted stretching which should improve form and lead to healthier knees.

Finally, and this is just conjecture based on experience, stronger hamstrings would lead to healthier knees.

So:

1) NSAIDS used sparingly.

2) Variations in the short-term.

3) Long term improvement in form, smoother execution.

4) Strengthening hamstrings specifically. This could be GMs taking the place of Squats on one day a week.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:44 PM   #10
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What I would suggest, and what I am also doing as I'm not confident with my own Squat form, is to reduce the number of days that you actually Back Squat and fill in the other days with variations that do not hurt. For me that works out currently to Squat, GM and Partial Squat. As my form becomes smoother I will Squat more often and do less work on the main lift.
Good idea. I have been talking about adding good mornings and LtL mentioned wide box squats. Perhaps I will incorporate both of these.

Quote:
With that in mind a friend mine recently suggested Goblet Squat Holds as a good way to introduce weighted stretching which should improve form and lead to healthier knees.
This is one of the exercises I tossed around for morning workouts.

Quote:
4) Strengthening hamstrings specifically. This could be GMs taking the place of Squats on one day a week.
Wide stance squats are hard on my hamstrings and shine a light on how bad my flexibility is on general. GMs and wide stance box squats...
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